When the Average Joe’s Gymnasium starting six lined up across the Globo Gym Purple Cobras, they knew they would be facing an uphill battle. Afterall, Average Joe’s was a 50-1 underdog to win that final game in a last chance effort to collect the $50,000 prize and save their beloved gymnasium.
A similar narrative holds tonight on Thursday Night Football as the struggling Philadelphia Eagles who sit at 1-2 head to an unwelcoming environment in Green Bay, taking on Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. Just as Globo Gym’s leader, White Goodman, the mustached slinger quarterback, Rodgers, has led
Peter Matt LeFleur’s offense to three consecutive tight victories this season and solidified his team as top-dog in the division.
Unlike the past three seasons when the Packers averaged 23rd in the NFL in points allowed, their defensive woes have seemingly disappeared. Green Bay now holds the No. 2 spot in points allowed this season with 35 — a drastic change in productivity attributable to their current draft model of taking defensive players early.
Since 2015, in the first two days of the NFL Draft (Rounds 1-3), the Packers have selected 12 defensive players in 16 picks. That’s 75 percent of their significant picks being used to solve their consistent defensive struggles. Although it’s still early, all signs point to their strategy ultimately paying off.
To make tonight’s game more interesting: the Eagles are 10-9 since their 2018 Super Bowl victory over the New England Patriots. A near .500 record does not cut it for an NFC East team in 2019 now that the Cowboys poked their head out as Super Bowl contenders.
The road the 1-2 has been arduous trip, I’ll say.
The journey began with a 17-0 home deficit against their division rival, Washington. Fortunately for the birds, DeSean Jackson’s two 50+ yard touchdowns helped Philadelphia mount a comeback in their home stadium.
The following week, the Eagles traveled down to Georgia to face the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday Night Football. On a drive that consisted of three third down conversions, Carson Wentz punched in a 1-yard touchdown and a 2-point conversion to take a three point lead on the Falcons with a little over three minutes remaining. Just a minute later, however, the Falcons turned a dangerous fourth-and-3 at midfield into a 53-yard touchdown for Julio Jones taking the lead and eventually stealing the win from Philly. Despite the loss, the Eagles looked strong in this matchup showing that they can compete despite difficulty, an indicator that a team can do damage late into the season.
For the third straight week, the Eagles’ offense showed out. Against the Lions they scored 24 points and racked up 373 total yards. But a return touchdown by the Lions’ special teams coupled with two lost fumbles by Philadelphia’s offense, the Eagles were caught playing catchup en route to their eventual loss.
When looking at tonight’s matchup between the Eagles and the Packers, it is easy to say the Packers have the upper hand considering their record and home-field advantage. However, the claim would be negligent towards the teams’ individual performances in each of their previous games.
Yes, the Packers are playing like championship contenders early in this season. But despite their record, the Eagles, are tough competitors as well. Just remember before telling your buddies that the Packers are a lock tonight that Average Joe’s Gymnasium came back from a 4-1 deficit in the final game. Why shouldn’t the Eagles be able to do the same this season?